Oregon has become a hot place for start-up businesses over the past few years. Last fall, GOBankingRates.com ranked Oregon as the 14th best state to start a business in, based on criteria such as business start-up and survival rates, availability of skilled employees and tax climate. Portland is a strong magnet for both start-ups and established entrepreneurs, with venture capital funding hitting a five-year high of $283.4 million in 2015, according to Dow Jones Venture Source, while the Kauffmann Foundation ranked the city number five in the nation for established small businesses.
Opportunities are there for Oregon entrepreneurs. But in order to take advantage of them, you need to get past the hurdle of getting your technological infrastructure installed and running. Here are four steps to set up your startup’s technological infrastructure so that you’re ready to launch and scale your business.
Choose a Mobile Platform
For today’s small business owner, a mobile device is often the most crucial component of their company’s technological infrastructure. When choosing a mobile device for business purposes, speed and security are crucial considerations. With 5G connectivity speeds a thousand times faster than 4G on the horizon, business owners who want a smartphone equipped for future scaling should consider a mobile device with hardware ready for 5G. Mobile phones with the best mobile processors such as the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon chips are built to handle 5G speeds. Snapdragon processors also incorporate features to ensure secure biometric authentication, a key security feature for business smartphone protection. Some of today’s best business smartphone options include the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Google Pixel XL and the iPhone 7 Plus.
Set up Infrastructure Hosting Services
Internet hosting is another key element of your technological infrastructure. Reliability, speed, security, and the ability to scale up are some of the top considerations when choosing a hosting provider. Cloud-based hosting represents the best option meeting these criteria, combining the reliability of remote backup servers, the speed of dedicated hosting, the security of professionally-managed IT and the ability to provision additional resources as needed. Today’s best cloud-based infrastructure-as-a-service solutions include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and IBM Cloud (formerly SoftLayer).
Select Your Core Software Apps
Choosing software applications for your core business functions is another priority. Exactly which apps you need will depend on the nature of your business, but for any company, accounting software is essential. For today’s mobile-based business, the best accounting options are online cloud-based solutions, which allow you the flexibility of accessing your books from your smartphone as well as the ability to integrate your accounting data with data from other financial business functions, such as purchase transactions, expense reporting and inventory management. Today’s leading online accounting software options include QuickBooks Online, Zoho Books, Billy and Xero.
For most companies, it’s also essential to have a business office productivity suite for functions such as email, calendar scheduling, word processing and spreadsheet management. Today’s most leading productivity suite options include Office 365, Google Apps for Work Suite, LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice.
Create a File Backup System
To protect yourself against data loss due to equipment failures, power problems, or hacking, it’s important to have a file backup system. One option is to use an external hard drive such as the CalDigit Tuff, LaCie 5big Thunderbolt 2, Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive or Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC. Another option is using a cloud-based backup service. This has the advantage of providing you with a remotely-located backup copy in the event you have a disaster at your physical location. Leading cloud backup providers include CrashPlan, Backblaze, iDrive, Acronis True Image and Carbonite.
Make sure to lay this technological groundwork before launching your startup to minimize risk of failure and to better facilitate scaling up in the future.